Furniture Design Fee

I was approached by a friend to design a desk. It will be small-amount mass production. The price will be toward the high-end side. He offered three options for the fee, i.e. commission only, roylties only, or combination. I have a few questions, and wonder whether anyone could give some advice.

  1. If he pays me commission fee, does that mean he will have the copyright of the design?
  2. How much it usually charges for designing a piece of furnture like this?
  3. If I choose the combination option, how much royalty I should charge?

Thanks for your help!

The answer to all three is it depends. unfortunately there are no standards. It really depends on what you can negotiate.

What you definitely should do is get everything in writing. In minimum confirmed in an email, but ideally a document that spells out the details of the agreement (who owns the design, what the payments are and when they occur, if based on royalties how units are accounted and when i.e. counted when made or when sold?) and bonus if you get a signature on it. It is always better if these things are clearly written out in plain language to prevent disagreements later. You don’t want to loose a client and a friend at the same time.